El Juicio

Francisco Ruiz de Infante
Replay preview

Seeking to this position prevented in preview mode

El juicio is the second part of the trilogy Las Armas y los Cuidados [Weapons and caring]. Within a litany of big and small expressions of guilt, different texts, sounds and images are compiled together into the linearity of an interior monologue in the first person. Emerging out of the most intimate, out of that place where one takes shelter from life, this video declares the contradictions, self-betrayals and confusion that result from ignoring non-written laws. This is a narration in five acts which themselves regenerate, chronically, at each lapse, into perverse cycles.

“El juicio” is borne out of a bricolage of scattered personal notes. Texts, film, advertising, photographs, recordings and sounds are in constant tension, both in the different formal layers, as in the lines of content. In the repetition of statements that start with “too late and I’m guilty”, Ruiz de Infante examines the relations between seemingly incongruous fragments by concatenating them together with delicate juxtapositions; like a bunch of ideas abandoned in a box, some are put in, some are taken out, some are dug into; a kind of series of equations that develop an open narrative about agony and the not-said (or the not-shown); a recitation that, with the tiniest movements, manages to pervert representation.

The subjective and divergent arrangement of the starting materials generates, as these are absorbed and transformed by a constant declaration of guilt, an oscillating flux that introduces new elements of anxiety in the narrative. Different signs succeed each other, signs pointing to intimacy and seclusion as metaphors for the protective power of the home, and revealing the contradictions essential to any dislocated individual, as in the case of the narrator, who is reciting in a foreign language.

That which “El juicio” seems to be proposing is that committing mistakes is not itself grievous, but rather, that the problem lies in the repeated attempts at justifying these mistakes; that to flee from certain problems means to find new ones. With stoic moral pain, in each statement, the monotonous sermon justifies a further seemingly trivial problem with the expectation of receiving a conclusive sentence. But truth engenders suffering and an apology is the biggest sacrifice for one’s pride. This cold and self-reproaching repetition, devoid of any expectation of reconciliation, seems nevertheless to yearn for control, as if using the words like hits to the chest in order to arrive at a converted apotheosis, a mystical catharsis for which pain is a revelation. This piece creates a hypnotic anguish of which traces can be found in Ruiz de Infante’s later pieces, up to Los lobos.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: El Juicio
  • Direction: Francisco Ruiz de Infante
  • Production: C.I.N.T. del Ayuntamiento de Vitoria-Gasteiz.. 1991.
  • Duration: 00:10:50
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English - French
  • Original format: High 8
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright